Mineralogy and geochemistry of the lower mantle and core by atomistic simulations projects
Understanding the evolution and dynamics of the deep Earth and other planets requires data on minerals, melts and fluids at very high pressures. Because experiments at very high pressure and temperature conditions are difficult, an alternative and invaluable route for obtaining such data are through atomistic simulations.
For instance, atomistic calculations have been essential for insights into the core-mantle boundary region with pressure and temperature ranges of 100-140 GPa and 2500- 4000 K. Atomistic computations have also provided constraints on the composition of the core, the mineralogy and phase relations in the mantle, the properties of melts and their evolution from a magma ocean until today, as well as the properties of exoplanets.
The access to large computational resources and appropriate molecular dynamics software has made ab initio theoretical studies a very attractive approach during the last ten years. The computing power has increased to the point at which studies of phases with complex solid solutions are feasible.
The Deep Earth materials group at CEED, coordinated by Reidar Trønnes, includes research associate Chris Mohn and postdoctoral fellows, as well as two adjunct professors, John Brodholt at University College, London and Razvan Caracas, CNRS, Ecole Normale Superior, Lyon. We can offer a variety of MSc-projects to address exiting and unsolved issues related to deep Earth mineralogy, geochemistry and dynamics.
The students will learn to use ab initio methods, which are highly sought-after skills in both academia and industry, and will have access to and gain skills in using high-performance computers.
Please contact Reidar Trønnes (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.